My Resident Camper

Don’t ask me why I’m slightly emotional about Trysten heading off to resident camp this week, but I am. He might as well be hours from me, but he’s not. He’s across the front yard. Either way, he was actually really excited and I was equally excited for him. Lots of friends have their kids here this week as well so he’s going to have a blast. Love him.

Matthias Weekend at the Lake

This weekend we went to my parent’s lakehouse where most of my mom’s side of the family would be housed for 3 days. I’m kind of without words because it was a most perfect weekend overall. I was able to have great chats with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents that I don’t get to see nearly enough. And perhaps most awesomely (yes, it’s a word) the kids had so much fun with their second cousins that it left copious amounts of time for me to fry my skin regardless of how much sunscreen I used. The weekend in pictures…

The kids with my 1st cousin once removed, Sophie.

My siblings and my kids and their siblings.

Tariku is OBSESSED with this thing. Was on it for at least 3 straight hours.

My most favorite part of the weekend was when the boys “volunteered” (read…”were forced by me”) to ski for the very first time. Initially they wanted my brother, Marcus, to help him in the water. So eldest was first. Putting on skis was essential for obvious reasons.

And the process.

He did really well the first time. Actually stood up for a few seconds. Then fell and didn’t let go of the rope so proceeded to gulp lots of lake water. After which he decided he wanted mommy in the water with him. Two shots and he was done. Little brother’s turn. Tariku was excited while Trysten was nervous leading up to the big ski. First time Tariku toppled forward and gulped the remaining lake water left behind by Trysten. So twice and he was done as well. Good times had by all, I think. Here I am helping little brother.

Then my grandparents (who each had birthdays this weekend AND celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary!) and my cousins, 1st cousins once removed.

Here we have my grandparents and 3 of their 5 kids, with spouses.

Lots of Stuffs

That’s what Dailah says when she’s carrying her baby and purse, etc and that’s what’s been going on at the homestead.

Today Dailah was at swim lessons and went under the water NOT on purpose. Scary stuff but when she was done I asked her if she was thirsty, “No, mom, I drank the pool.” Hilarious.

Work junk is happening with me, hard to believe since I work a mere 7 hours but it is. What doesn’t kill me will make me stronger, right? Anyway, have I mentioned I hate drama?

Today Tariku bumped his head pretty hard on a chair. It was the first time that he ran into my arms and just melted. Typically he would stand alone until I called him over to me. Another moment in our ongoing relationship that showed he trusts me to comfort him, to love him regardless. My heart bleeds for my boy.

And then MJ. Who knows why its devastating to me. I’m too young to remember him when he was cute but I’m perfect age to remember him at his best. His best coincided with some of my first concrete memories and they all involved my family. Dancing, laughing and trying very hard to moonwalk. Love MJ for those memories.

More pictures soon!


What a weekend! This might be the longest post EVER, by the way. So as said in a previous post, myself and the kids took off to Minnesota this weekend to attend the Ethiopian Mehaber. The Ethiopian Kids Community in the Twin Cities puts it on every year but this was the first one I felt like Tariku would be ready for. Boy was I right!

Overall, Tariku has never been happier. Right when we pulled into the parking lot to the Mehaber Tariku says, “Mom there are Ethiopians EVERYWHERE”. Yes, he really is that cute.

PLEASE finish this post because there is more cuteness ahead.

We left early enough that we’d miss any traffic on Friday and were pretty successful. My strategy for the 6 hours was to let the kids watch a movie for the first 2 hours, nap for the next 2 hours and then watch another movie for the next 2 hours. Honestly, it worked almost perfectly, the kids do so well.

Our first stop was Julie, Tony, Raina and Fantaye’s house. Tony and I first connected because we were supposed to originally travel with them. Since then he has been a resource and support so I was so excited to meet them. Plus, I was excited to meet Fantaye. In Tariku’s care center video he pretty much finds her and slaps her in every scene, poor thing. So I wanted to be able to apologize in person. With how well all of the kids got along, however, Fantaye apparently forgot the abuse she suffered at the hands of my little habesha.

This kid is a friend to all 4 legged friends as well.

Honestly Dailah might’ve been the most excited about Raina and Fantaye. GIRLS! There was pink and babies and strollers everywhere. She was in her little heaven. These two got along famously and if they lived closer I’m sure would get into all kinds of cute trouble together.

After a delicious dinner and great conversation with the hosts, we were off to Matt, Amanda and Teshome (and soon Samrawit!) where we were to stay for the weekend. Tariku was definitely most excited to see Teshome as they were great friends in the care center (though Tariku again expressed that by slapping). We got there a little late so we let them play and then they somehow talked us into letting all 3 boys sleep together. Amanda was nice enough to read a book to them in their air mattress bed.

That didn’t work so well so at 10:30 we separated them. Tariku literally woke up at just before 6am the next day whispering, “Teshome”. Couldn’t contain the kids’ excitement for too long so we were up and ready for the Mehaber. First some trampoline time, though. I taught the kids the “crack the egg” game, which they loved. Turns out Teshome is a tough egg to crack!

I have a feeling I’ll be begged incessantly for a trampoline for the coming days/weeks/months.

The Mehaber was, in a word, amazing. It felt so good to get Tariku around all these families that looked like him. All these Ethiopians. He was so eager to see a few faces from Ethiopia but I could tell he was a little nervous at first as well.

But then he saw these two. Agiro and Twedros. He ran headfirst into Twedros. This made me cry (surprise, surprise) and made the three of them shout with glee. Look at Tariku’s face, seriously.

When the kids heard about all the events at the Mehaber they were most excited for 1) the bounce houses and 2) tattoos. So we did both, lots.

Trysten with his woosha (dog).

Tariku and Teshe with their tattoos and smitten faces.

Doozie with her fish face.

Right after the tattoos Tariku got to see his other friend from the care center, Eshetu. These two were called “the twins” for obvious reasons. When we got back from Ethiopia I emailed Eshetu’s mom, Jodi, to tell her she had the cutest, sweetest little boy. Turns out he still is.

They taught the tricks of Ethiopian dancing. Can you see the permanent smile on this kid?

Tried to take a picture with our travel group’s kids. Were missing a few, but this was the best shot I got. Sad, I know.

We got to see and spend time with so much of our travel group, Tiffany, Rebekah and others. It was so great to reconnect with them, you have no idea. This world of adoption has brought me to the most amazing women and families. Families who understand why I would be excited about the littlest things with Tariku. Who celebrate those with me. How blessed that I got so many inspiring women to travel with.

After the Mehaber, Matt and Amanda graciously hosted a small party at their house. Talking late into the night with Jodi (Esthetu’s mom) and her family, Julie and Tony, Matt and Amanda, Sara (whose blog I will come link once I know the link!) and Tiffany just absolutely solidified my love for these people and their families.

As a bonus this weekend I also got to meet Mamasweetpea, Chandra and AnnMarie. Wanted to soak them up as well but wanted MORE TIME!

I’m ready for another one this weekend but wouldn’t mind if it was in Iowa. Thank you so much Matthew and Amanda. They really are the hostesses with the mostestes.

First to Father’s Day

This man is amazing. He provides more than enough love for me and the kids. I can’t say enough about him other than that he loves to be a dad, which works because he is so darn good at it. I love him and so do they.

And to my dad who has always and will always do anything for me, thank you! Love you!

Habesha Play Time

Lots of pictures, lots of funny tidbits about what we’ve been up to but for now just a word to say we are heading to the Ethiopian picnic in Minnesota for the weekend. Zach has to work so it’ll just be the kids and yours truly. Right now the excitement at seeing some of my travel group and meeting some of my blog friends has overshadowed the fact that I’ll be in the car, by myself, with three kids under the age of 6. That and the fact that we get to stay with Matthew, Amanda and Teshome who we traveled with and who Tariku has been SOOO excited to see…We are really going to have a fun, hot, weekend.

So if you’ve missed me this last week (how could you not, seriously?) you’ll get more than enough hotflawedmama upon our return. Hope to see you there!

We’re Doing it…Again

Adopting that is…

Most of you already know this, probably, or have at the very least picked up what I’ve thrown down on this here blog. Or perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve been wanting to adopt again since we brought Tariku home…tough to say.

So we’re in process. Our homestudy is done. Our agency is chosen and they’ve accepted our application. We’re literally within sight of the exciting part, but…

We are waiting on grant news. So we wait and wait. I’ve actually been pretty patient this time and if you remember from Tariku’s adoption (how could you forget faithful followers?) patience has never been a virtue of mine.

But Zach and I know we’re being called to do this. Probably the last time. To finish our family strong. People always say don’t let money be the thing that stops you from adopting so we’ll go with that. We know if it is a God thing (which we’re pretty certain it is) it’ll be taken care of so we just have to wait.

I’m awesome throughout the day. Taking care of the kids and doing my few hours on the job occupies my mind pretty well. Then I lay my head down to sleep and it fails me. I am a sleeper, you all know that about me, so these last few months of shaky sleep at best is not so fun. It’s like I said in this post, the in between makes for some complicated moments in my brain.

So, in short, we are super excited to be adding to our family again. As of right now we are thinking 2 kids ages 3 and under or so. That could change or it might not. This process could take 6 more months or 2 more years, we just have no idea. But we’re thrilled at the whole thing.

Suffice it to say if you guys have a rich uncle you’ve been hiding from me and he’s recently asked you if you needed a few thousand dollars for anything, keep us in mind. 🙂

Thanks for coming along, for riding this crazy train of mine. So many of you have been the rock that I needed in ways I didn’t even know. The only support when there wasn’t any. The women (and men, hey dad, hey Tony!) who made my crazy seem commonplace and I thank you for that from the deepest part of me. Hope you come along for this ride too because I’m sure there is more craziness, and lots of cookie dough, ahead.

Much love, from this gal.

Random Cuteness

Was looking through old pictures to see what I hadn’t posted and what might be interesting to put in my scrapbook, er, blog.

Dailah is cute, you know it, I know it, unfortunately she knows it. But what is hard to portray in a few words is this girl’s personality. She is hilarious. Not hilarious in a 2 1/2-year-old way but hilarious in a could-have-her-own-Bravo-show way. I came across this picture and it caught one of her faces. She must have just been talking to herself here, hence the sass. But it’s all about the details. Painted nails, high ponytail, legs crossed with hand underneath. She’s my little button and cracks me up daily.

My sister-in-law, Kait, is in Mexico right now volunteering. She is awesome, whenever I’m with her we have fun. Here’s a picture for proof, just hanging out laughing lots. I miss her a lot and can’t wait for her to come home but am so happy she’s getting such an awesome experience. Love you, sis!

Since I’m never in pictures with my kids I want proof that I was actually with them all day. Sometimes self portraits are where it’s at; however, after this one and all the hair, arms and wrinkles I might just settle on training Abe how to snap pics.

When we were preparing to adopt from Ethiopia, Zach and I would talk about our possible future children. We’d look at other Ethiopians and wonder if ours would have that forehead, chin, etc. NEVER in my wildest dreams did I picture a beauty such as this. The real kicker is his outside doesn’t do justice to his inside. I’ve kind of, maybe, told the kids if they didn’t stay buckled in the car then the police will put me in jail. So Dailah was threatening to unbuckle tonight and Tariku yells frantically, “Stop Dailah! I don’t want mom to go to jail! I need her here with me!” Which made me get a little choked up. Then Trysten chirps in, “Mom, if you go to jail, I want to come with you.” I have some pretty great kids. But seriously, don’t you want to jump through the computer a plant a fat one on this kid? (On a side note, Tariku hasn’t perfected the art of kissing yet. He purses his lips and pretty much gives open mouthed kisses every time. Slightly uncomfortable but cute nonetheless).

From This Day Forward…

Tariku Asamu Abiyu Xavier Klipsch will be yours.

This morning we (finally) re-adopted Tariku. While most of my travel group was on the ball (thanks for rubbing that in, friends) and did it right away, we took our sweet time. No reason other than I had myself convinced that filling out one more piece of paperwork would literally kill me. Had I known how this day would feel, I would’ve sucked it up sooner.

It happened in Ethiopia before, when they called us his parents. I cried then when the birth certificate came with my husband and my names listed us as his rightful parents. It was a big day then, obviously, but I wasn’t there. I was today. I got to say yes to parenting him for the rest of my life. The judge had obviously been through this once or twice but all I wanted to do was shout from the rooftops that I pulled a quick one on God. I seriously can’t believe He gave us this child. It doesn’t make sense, but I’m not going to bring that up to the big guy.

Anyway, I had been telling Tariku this day was coming but obviously he didn’t really understand the impact. To him, I was mom, no idea why we needed to go through this step (me either, by the way). But we tried to make it a day about him. So in the morning we quickly went to the courthouse where two of his grandparents, two of his aunties and two of his cousins came to watch the judge gavel his way into our life.

(Zach was really happy, just feeling under the weather).

This juror was very enthusiastic about Tariku being ours forever.

Here is the best picture my sister took of us with the judge and lawyer. Our lawyer is the best, I really can’t say that enough.

Our first photo of 5 American citizens (on a side note it was also a sad day when thinking about Tariku losing his Ethiopian citizenship, more to come on that I’m sure)

She found lipgloss and was then satisfied the rest of the day.

So after all of that Tariku decided he wanted chocolate chip pancakes from Village Inn. I swear he was not convinced it was a big deal until Papa bought him remote control cars; then it suddenly seemed like a VERY big deal to him.

After this we went to Leslie’s to play for awhile, of course with the cars.

With no cars for these two yahoos they chose instead to focus on intense cuteness.

And Quarterly

Quarterly is called quarterly because, well, it comes up every quarter. 🙂 This is the time when we get to go do any of the 9 classes Les Mills has to offer. I am an instructor for Pump, Flow and Step but it’s my chance to take those and any others. I get most excited for Combat and Jam.

Like I said before, I brought some ladies with me who aren’t instructors but who are some of the biggest champions in fitness that I know. One of them has lost over 150 pounds, one of them is a mom to two who works full time but has found a balance that works to get her to the gym and work her butt off. Another is from Germany and is therefore just cooler than I am. She also bumps up her weight quicker than most people and has even come to Step despite being slightly intimidated by it. The other is my sister who missed Combat from her old gym, I also happen to enjoy sharing things with her.

It was a perfect group. We had so much fun together and experiencing those many hours of fitness with each other just brought the whole thing home. I am so very blessed to have the job I have. Meeting people like this really is worth it. Inspiring women, all of them.

Doing some tricep pushups at Pump.

Those of us who did Step (minus Kara)

The signs on the stage for the presenters.

My peeps doing Combat (bad picture, but you get the idea)